Love Bites Off Broadway, February 11 & 12, Mission Cultural Center. This show was our 8th annual anti-Valentine's Day cabaret and the first one with our new Artistic Director, Billy Sauerland. He was young and full of energy and had come from a background of singing with Chanticleer and singing in operas as a child soprano. After a search for this new director the previous fall, Billy was thrust into getting the chorus and himself ready for Love Bites. At the first Artistic Advisory Committee meeting with Billy to talk about this, his first question was "what is Love Bites?" We filled him in on the history of this cabaret that Stephanie and committee came up with. Then came the search for full chorus numbers to fit the Broadway theme. These were "My Funny Valentine" from "Babes in Arms", "What I Did for Love" from "A Chorus Line" and we closed with "One More Day" from "Les Miserables" with alternative lyrics by Howard Miller and naughty lyrics by Billy. Then came the process of Billy working with the various soloists, duets, and small groups. As you can see in the photos of Act I and Act II, Andrew Field sang "Down with Love", then the sopranos and altos sang "Nothin' Like a Dame", John Gullotto sang "This Nearly Was Mine", Lisa Vogt and Molly Aplet sang sang "Loneliness of Evening" and the tenors and basses sang "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair." One of the highlights of Act I was Deb Cohler and Linda Rodriguey singing "Bosom Buddies."
Act II began with Wendy Tobias singing "In Short" from "Edges" which was written by our new favorite composers from earlier this year, Pasek & Paul. Then a sextet sang "Cell Block Tango" from "Chicago" which the chorus had sung in a previous Love Bites and which included some great choreography by Wendy Tobias. Joan Goldman sang one of my favorites, "Send in the Clowns." Tenor Howard Miller then sang "Could I Leave You?" from "Follies" and really gave it his all. Elisa Shore & Wendy sang "Take Me or Leave Me" from "Rent." Then Jim Oerther sang "Show Off" from "The Drowsy Chaperone." Then there was medley of three songs from three of Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows. As mentioned above we ended with "One More Day." This was a fun show for us and our audiences and I feel was a good way for us to welcome Billy.
Billy wrote in the program in part "Welcome to the 8th annual Love Bites cabaret of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco! It is my delight to have recently taken over as Artistic Director of this enthusiastic and engaging ensemble. Not only is this my inaugural Love Bites concert, but this is also the first time the LGCSF has had the pleasure of singing in the wonderful Mission Cultural Center. Love Bites 2011 focuses on the bitter and unrequited love songs of the musical theater canon. I hope these songs of Broadway will take you on an anit-Valentine's journey that is silly, sassy and sublime." The chorus at this point was at 27 strong and Billy told us that he would like to grow the chorus to 40 singers. Just to let you know, the chorus really enjoyed performing at the Mission Cultural Center. There were two small and cozy dressing rooms and a generous for us backstage space. The staff there were all very welcoming.
From now on I will be writing about one show per week to extend the life of the History Corner so let me know what you all think of this. I will be able to expand on what I write about and I hope you enjoy this new format.
Next week will be about Pride 2011.